I have recently joined a club called University of the Third Age. I began a group for the members of the U3A would be researchers of family tree's ,and have 10 pupils at the moment.
I started my own tree over 32 years ago and have loved doing it and have written a 126 page book on the Arnull family. I want to pass on my enthusiasm and encouragement to others in search for their trees.
I have never been to search for my ancestors other than local search offices near to my home, and everything else has come from search engines on the Internet. I would like some information of how easy is it to visit Somerset House and other Archives etc in London.They make it look so easy on Who do you think you are. Thank you Margaret Cole
I'm not aware of there being any archives any longer in Somerset House. Neither does the Family History Centre exist any longer. Most things such as censuses and births/marriages/deaths indexes are only available online. Things have changed a lot in the last 20 years. It was almost a badge of honour to have found your ancestors in the original registers of the GRO ...and good exercise too lifting those enormous volumes off the shelves!
However, the Society of Genealogists in Clerkenwell is very useful for parish records and have a basement full of CD's, microfilm and microfiches. The nearby London Metropolitan Archives is useful for London records.
As far as I know, everything else of any note is held by the Public Record Office/National Archives at Kew, southwest London. It's a lovely modern building in a nice setting, but it is VAST and a steep learning curve - though I imagine if you've visited local record offices for 30 years you'll be prepared for it!
WDYTYA doesn't show any of the background research, only the final results. It all looks so easy on TV ;)